After my nephew Trayvon Martin was tragically and senselessly gunned down, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed a Task Force to look at Florida’s Stand Your Ground law that initially played a role in shielding Trayvon’s killer and will potentially be used as part of George Zimmerman’s defense. While the Task Force has met several times I fear they are not committed to truly involving the Miami Gardens community where Trayvon and much of his family lived.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was cited by the police in their explanation of why they did not initially arrest George Zimmerman in a public letter. Since Stand Your Ground became law, justifiable homicides have increased 200% and most recently we’ve seen studies saying Stand Your Ground impacts the overall level of homicides beyond what an increase in justifiable homicides could explain. People in my community are demanding answers to the troubling questions concerning Stand Your Ground and it’s time the Task Force start hearing our voices.
This why I’m petitioning Governor Rick Scott demanding that his Task Force hold a meeting Miami Gardens. The most recent Task Force meeting was largely inaccessible and took place 40 miles away from Miami Gardens. No other meetings in our region of Florida are planned. Further, meeting agendas aren't available until shortly before the hearings take place limiting community participation. The Task Force has no members from Miami Gardens, despite many local state legislators and other community members interest in participating in the Task Force.
It’s time to hold a Task Force meeting in Miami Gardens and listen to our voices regarding this controversial and likely dangerous law.
Our community and especially our youth deserve to have their voices fully heard regarding this controversial law.
Holding this meeting will be a first step towards achieving genuine community engagement.